Theranostics for Neuroendocrine Tumors
Targeted Treatment for Certain Metastatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (PRRT)
Technology and Expertise to Detect and Treat Elusive Tumors
Neuroendocrine tumors, sometimes called carcinoid tumors, can occur in a variety of hormone-making cells, called endocrine cells. Many are slow-growing tumors that produce nonspecific symptoms, and because they often are small and not visible with routine types of imaging studies, neuroendocrine tumors can be challenging to diagnose. In fact, these tumors often metastasize — spread to other organs — even before a diagnosis is made. There are a variety of treatment approaches, depending on the individual’s pattern of disease. Patient care for this often-complicated disease is best provided at centers with expertise in the full scope of medical, surgical and radiologic treatment options — as is available at Cedars-Sinai.
The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides advanced technology and minimally invasive procedures to detect and diagnose these elusive tumors. Our imaging experts, with specialized training and experience in diagnostic and treatment of disease, collaborate with the Cedars-Sinai Carcinoid and Neuroendocrine Tumor Program, one of the most comprehensive clinical research programs in the country. Together, these clinicians and researchers are developing innovative approaches to diagnose and attack these cancers.
Lutathera: Advanced Therapy to Target and Destroy Cancer Cells
Lutathera is a new, personalized treatment for some patients with metastatic neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas, gut or stomach. It consists of a protein that seeks out and attaches to tumor cells, along with a radioactive molecule (Lutetium-177) that enters the cells. It works by specifically targeting cancer cells and attacking them from the inside, which minimizes damage to healthy cells. Treatments like Lutathera are sometimes called peptide receptor radionuclide therapies (PRRT).
Before being approved by the Food and Drug Administration in early 2018, Lutathera was extensively studied in clinical trials and Cedars-Sinai participated in the NETTER-1 multicenter Phase III trial that supported Lutathera’s approval. PRRT has been used for treatment of neuroendocrine malignancy in Europe for over a decade.
This treatment consists of four doses of Lutathera, given at eight-week intervals. Patients are prepared for treatment and closely monitored by our treatment team, and this is a day-stay procedure with patients discharged the same day.
Dr. Louise Thomson and Dr. Alessandro D’Agnolo are co-directors of Nuclear Medicine at the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center and have expertise in a wide range of radionuclide therapies. They have established clinical protocols and developed a dedicated facility within the imaging center for PRRT. The new Theranostic Program is the result of collaboration of an expert team of nuclear medicine physicians, subspecialty-trained nurses, nuclear medicine technologists, radiopharmacists and radiation physicists. The program provides patient focused personal and comprehensive care for planning and safe delivery of PRRT, working closely with the patient’s established oncologist and the Carcinoid and Neuroendocrine Tumor Program at Cedars Sinai.
The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.